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  • Case-Shiller's Recent Strength: It's Not Just Seasonality [View article]
    "not getting worse" is different to "recovery". If being bearish means you don't believe a genuine recovery is going to happen any time soon, then there doesn't seem to be anything in the numbers to change that view.
    Sep 29, 2009. 01:32 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baltic Dry Index Tells the Real Economic Story [View article]
    Yes, the real story is an absence of relative demand. FWIW some plots of BDI vs all base metals here:


    Summary here:
    Sep 27, 2009. 06:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Need for a New Security in Rare Metals New Production [View article]
    The main two things that at this stage require a leap of faith are:

    1. that the significant portion of Lynas' resource is inferred. Therefore an investor is making a bet that subsequent drilling will return results that will allow the resource to be re-classified and economically mineable.

    2. that recovery rates, particularly of the trace rare earth components, are high.

    #1 is the case for all miners at this stage of development. To assess #2 you need to have a handle on processing methods for rare earth containing ores.


    On Sep 26 12:50 AM ddot wrote:

    > Jack
    > Lynas is an advanced project and even after this last setback it
    > will be one of the first producers of REE outside of China. It is
    > one of the richest REE mines in the world and has a team of people
    > that have been working behind the scenes for a few years now and
    > obviously now what they are doing!!!!!!!!!
    > Your comment about selling Lynas to buy North American stocks (who
    > have been on the scene for five minutes) is biased and shows that
    > you are obviously receiving remuneration of sorts from these companies
    > and for me you have lost your credability
    Sep 27, 2009. 05:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Still a Safe Bet for Commodity Bulls [View article]
    I'd agree with jeremiah74, there seems little doubt that supply constraints will push prices up in the future, in fact I think the next spike in prices will be higher than 2006-2007, but it isn't going to happen until economies other than China return to consistent growth.

    We see examples at the moment where China is (has been anyway) actively stockpiling minerals/metals yet because of the lack of demand from other nations there is surplus supply.
    Sep 24, 2009. 07:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Teflon Rally Running on Volume Fumes [View article]
    Good points but there is also the matter of the concentration of the volume to consider though.

    On Sep 23 06:34 AM chap08 wrote:

    > Not to rain on the parade of masochism, but a few other points to
    > consider:
    > 1. The chart compares the position now with the bottom of the market.
    > What we've been through has been a deep and violent sell off - more
    > deep and violent than any of the other bear markets in the graph.
    > We saw huge volumes of stocks being indiscriminately dumped - it
    > was outright panic. So, it should not be too surprising that we don't
    > see such huge volumes, in a short period of time on the way back
    > up. On the graph we are comparing 2009 with the likes of 1966 and
    > 1984. In terms of market action, there is no comparison.
    > 2. If you look at a graph of say the S&P500 or Nasdaq over the
    > past few years, volumes now are higher than they were during the
    > previous bull market. I don't remember anyone saying then that volume
    > was an issue.
    > 3. We now have something that didn't factor in any of the other periods
    > shown - dark pools. I don't know what goes on in there, do you? What
    > I do know is that large blocks of shares are traded in a way that
    > is not reported publicly. They are designed to be obscure.
    > If you're bearish, I don't want to change your mind, but I don't
    > think this volume data is a compelling case for the market to fall.
    Sep 23, 2009. 11:21 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Michelle Girard: Recovery Ahead - With Jobs [View article]
    I agree with both of you but when will the penny drop? A recovery without the consumer isn't likely to be a recovery with (significant) company profit growth (other than financials making money from trading activities). It might take until the next reporting season before we see sentiment change.
    Sep 23, 2009. 09:51 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Demand for 'Moly' Can Only Rise [View article]
    re: Moly mines

    Yes they need to get their financing in place. Did sign a 10 year offtake agreement last year.

    Ivanhoe (IVA.AX) has a much better resource but is further behind in the development stage. Is is partially owned by NYSE listed Ivanhoe (IVN).

    George Soros recently bought 20% of small dual listed (australia/canada) copper/moly play Marengo (MGO.AX). Marengo have a resource in Papua New Guinea and can piggy back of another nearby project to get access to ports from the highlands.

    Unfortunately wildebeest had a stake in Queensland Ores (recently renamed to something else) that was the first of the current aussie crop to start producing moly (and tungsten) but fell apart due to apparent technical difficulties with the ore processing. That happened just before the GFC collapsed metal/metalloid demand -- meaning that no money was there to explore ways to overcome the technical hurdles. :)

    I'll be blogging something about the aussie molybdenum players sometime soon.

    FWIW, when I've heard moly wannabees present at conferences they say that the main use is as a steel hardner for steel used in oil pipelines.
    Sep 20, 2009. 09:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Donkeys by Simon Johnson [View instapost]
    Wasn't it Pam Ewing that had the bad dream? Bobby Ewing was the subject of the dream :)
    Sep 20, 2009. 12:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Quiet Grab: China's Recent Commodity Deals [View article]
    China has also invested heavily in Lynas Corp (ASX ticker: LYC) another company with a significant RE resource. Lynas is a bit further advanced than some of the other Australian players and currently has a 1 bill market cap. Navigator (NAV) also has a significant RE inferred resource which it is sitting on, Its main activity is as a wannabee gold miner.

    A similar situation to what the author describes for RE is also occurring for lithium (though there is not a China stranglehold -- yet), required for light batteries. Mere talk of a lithium resource seems enough to send day traders in a frenzy these days.
    Sep 19, 2009. 03:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economics: The Religion of Rationality [View article]
    It's an unfortunate accident of history that economics evolved *before* the behavioral sciences. Had it followed, we would probably have something totally different today (notwithstanding sub disciplines such as behavioural economics, which is still new relative to the beginnings of economics).
    Sep 18, 2009. 02:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Consumers Tell Economists to Speak for Themselves [View article]
    It *is* counted ( but it is ignored by headline writers because it is not consistent with the cheer leading about the recession being over.

    On Sep 18 09:51 AM Graham and Dodd Investor wrote:

    > It's wrong to say that the unemployment rate is only 9.7%. There
    > is a lot of "underemployment" that isn't being counted.
    Sep 18, 2009. 02:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the Recession Really Over? [View article]

    On Sep 16 08:32 AM Value Added wrote:

    > Is the recession really over? The answer is a resounding NO. The
    > ECRI leading indicators are not looking at the correct data. Apparently
    > foremost among those indicators are firms' earnings "beating expectations".
    > Sure. With abysmal expectations, everybody beats expectations, as
    > for example, when losses are less than expected losses. More important
    > indicators are consumer spending, insider selling, historical earnings
    > (not "versus expectations"), and foreclosure trends. By all measures
    > I examine, we're still deep in the woods.

    While I'm not an economist it *is* hard to "get" what is being said in the meedya. Recent housing related headlines have all been so positive but as you point out foreclosures are rising. If housing sale volumes are increasing due to distressed sellers why is that good news? If un + under employment is 16.8% (according to the BLS) how is that likely to lead to increased consumer spending, e.g. that a large number of people compared to 2008 that have less cash to spend. And so on...
    Sep 16, 2009. 02:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Lot of Caveats to This Recovery Scenario [View article]
    Chinese stockpiling started to taper off months ago yet metal prices continue to rise (inexplicably? ...dollar weakness?). US imports from China are down significantly relative to 2008 numbers. Presumably if Chinese production slows due to lower exports, metals will eventually correct in the face of dwindling demand.
    Sep 15, 2009. 02:09 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment